Sunday, January 29, 2017

Melomel Progress

We added dried currants to this for a few reasons. They add tannins and we want it to be dry. Neither one of us much care for sweet meads. They also absorb some of the carbon dioxide kind of bounce around while fermentation is happening. When it is still they rise to the top, so we know when its time to bottle it up for aging.

The melomel is clearing, nicely. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Morcant's Brewing Ale

He finally had time to get his brewing equipment organized and is starting his first batch of ale. Because I am a little nervous about the whole process, we are opting for a couple practices, like we did with the melomel, that aren't "period" like a modern airlock and we will be doing a secondary ferment, but I think most brewers in the SCA do that. I will try to remember to come back to this with the recipe he used but until then, here are some pictures, but in the meantime these are a couple of the books he's been looking at. 

Hornsey, Ian S. A History of Beer and Brewing. RSC Paperbacks. Cambridge, UK: Royal Society of Chemistry, 2003.
Unger, Richard. Beer in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Morcant's First Brewing Project

So for his first project, he decided to try his hand at a melomel made with lemonade and champagne yeast.  So this is  really somewhere between a true melomel and a Finnish sima because of the sugar in the lemonade.  I am going to try to prove that its period to mix the two ingredients, but I am guessing it will take some time.

We started this with the Red Star Premier Blanc Yeast. You can use any wine yeast for the process but we are looking for is a dry mead.  We really don't enjoy sweet wines or meads. We are bottling this in 22 ounce beer bottles, when we are done so aren't afraid of a bit of fizz.

We aren't playing at catching wild yeasts for our brews.  I have a lot of different cultures going in my house and don't want my sourdough beasties to infect our melomels, because honey is expensive. I also am going to use modern bottling practices, because we want to share our brews with friends without making them ill.  I will try to find a couple of stoneware growlers for serving, but I am a safety gal.